Arab-Americans Hold Conference Against Bigotry
Arab-Americans and their supporters held a conference in Detroit on Sunday against bigotry in response to an anti-Islam conference in Dearborn, Mich.
“We stand for America,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab-American News, at a panel discussion held at a Detroit hotel. “And they (anti-Muslim activists) stand against America and against the American way of life.”
Siblani’s views were echoed by others who gathered for a conference organized by the Arab American Institute and supported by several other Arab-American groups to counter a conference held in Dearborn on Sunday by anti-Muslim activists called the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings.”
Last year, Mokdad, 20, a Muslim was shot dead by her stepfather in Warren, Mich. Some anti-Islam activists said it was a honor killing because initial reports were that she was perceived as too independent, but Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo said Friday it was not an honor killing. The family of Mokdad opposed the anti-Islam conference and didn’t want Mokdad’s name on it, Cataldo said.
On Sunday, Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn — the biggest mosque in Michigan — said : “Honor killing has no religious roots in Islam.”
Sunday’s anti-Muslim conference features two of the most well-known anti-Islam activists in the United States, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.